Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cleopatra Jones

In the back of the Soul Closet are a pair of platform boots and a fur jacket belonging to one of the baddest sisters on film: Cleopatra Jones, played by the stunningly f-i-n-e, 6'2" Tamara Dobson, as a federal agent seeking to put the smackdown on an overacting Shelly Winters.

Dobson's plays the role with charisma, and given that the former fashion model had only one credited screen appearance before 1973's "Cleopatra Jones," she did a pretty good job as a female lead. Sadly, her career post- "Jones" career was all too brief. She was only in seven features between 1973 and 1984, including a sequel, "Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold." By 1978, she was Samantha in the quite-decent Saturday morning sci-fi series "Jason of Star Command." Her last role was in the 1984 made-for-tv film---predictably titled---"Amazons."

Dobson was diagnosed with MS in 2000. She died in 2006.

And now back to the action. I saw "Cleopatra Jones" at the United Artists Theater in downtown Chicago about six years after its release. When she opened up the hidden trap door in the Corvette and broke out the machine gun in the scene below, everybody in the theater went "oooooooo!" Including me.

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